• Tommy Centola

Seafood salads can accompany any meal

With the summer heat beating down, many people turn to dishes that are cool and refreshing. They want lots of flavor while not having to turn on the oven and heat the kitchen. So naturally, I thought of iconic New Orleans seafood salads. Almost all New Orleans restaurants have some variation of a seafood topped salad. The last restaurant I worked at, Cannon’s, was known for their Cajun Popcorn Salad. But today, I wanted to concentrate on salads with no cooking involved. Here’s what I found.

Today I am sharing three seafood salads, Italian Crab Salad, Crawfish Salad, and Shrimp Remoulade. These salads are great accompaniments to any meal. They are especially great for barbecues and picnics. These outdoor gatherings need a course that will help with the heat. The good think about these recipes is that the seafood can be interchangeable. If you’re not a fan of crawfish, you can always replace it with either shrimp or crabmeat. Now let’s get into the kitchen and keep the stove turned off.

This salad is based on the recipe from Mosca’s restaurant. It is an excellent salad to share among a couple of people. It’s a great way to start your meal.

Italian Crab Salad

1 large iceberg lettuce, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup Giardeniera (Italian Pickled Vegetable Salad), drained

1 1/2 to 2 cups lump crabmeat, picked thru for shells

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

Break lettuce into bite sized pieces and combine with giardeniera, crabmeat and onions. Thoroughly mix oil, vinegar, salt and garlic. Pour over lettuce, Giardeniera and crabmeat. Gently toss and serve.

This crawfish salad will taste a little better if you use crawfish that you have boiled. It would give you another layer of spice and flavor you can’t get with frozen crawfish tails. But, don’t let that stop you from making this any time of the year. It would still be a great addition to any meal.

Crawfish Salad

1 pound crawfish tails, roughly chopped

3/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning

3 dashes hot sauce

3 tablespoons celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon capers

3 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoon Creole mustard

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The salad can be served atop a mound of salad greens, on thick slices of Creole tomatoes, or in an avocado half.

This is the iconic New Orleans seafood salad that is found on most restaurant menus. Often listed as an appetizer, it can also double as a salad course. This is a treasured recipe from my mom.

Shrimp Remoulade

4 tablespoons horseradish mustard

½ cup tarragon vinegar

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons ketchup

½ cup diced celery

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup salad oil

1 tablespoon paprika

½ cup sliced green onions

2 pounds shrimp, medium size, boiled & peeled

Mix vinegar, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ketchup, and garlic. Add oil, beating well. Add celery and green onions. Add shrimp and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve on shredded lettuce.

When you’re looking for an addition to your meal and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen, these salads will fill the bill. They also make great fillings for tomatoes and avocados. However you decide to serve them, you can count on them to cool you down. Bring on the summer heat. These dishes are ready for it.

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